Yesterday I had to talk one of my clients out of potentially slapping someone, not literally, but she was fired up. Her parents had spent the day feeding her daughter complete junk (some of which I'm sure they thought was decent health food). And today I heard secondhand about another trainer trying to teach a client 'how' to eat but instead had to spent 45 minutes listening to her talk about organic food.
I am guilty of two things (really a lot of things but they aren't relevant to this article): 1. I used to preach about good vs bad foods 2. I was insanely on edge at the thought of what other people would try to feed my unborn child. Yes, seriously, before my son was even born I would stay up at night stressed about this. I see you rolling your eyes at me.
Luckily I had an awakening and luckily our society is slowly shifting towards working on healthy body images instead of the old fashioned skinny = good, fat = bad. But we are still giving our food a whole lot of power over us. Shouldn't we be the ones in charge of the food? The conversation I had with my client went like this:
"She is inevitably going to eat junk, whether with her grandparents or at a friends house. And she'll like it, because the fact is we all do. BUT she will learn her HABITS from you and that is what matters. Junk can be had, it won't kill her and it won't make her unhealthy. The only important thing is that they aren't her habits. Just as much as you don't want her to have a bad body image and to be knowledgeable about how to eat you don't want her to have a bad relationship with junk food either. It shouldn't be on a pedestal to the point that you crumble over a day of junk food with her grandparents. She will be fine, I promise. And they won't be around forever so let them have their ice cream and when she is able to understand you will teach her balance."
*Side note to the grandparents of the world: I'm not giving you an out, please try to remember how hard it was and give your kids a break.
The fact is: this applies to us all. Eating a "bad" meal won't make you unhealthy, just like one workout won't make you healthy. And once you stop labeling food as good/bad, healthy/unhealthy you take away all its power. The day you learn that you can eat whatever you want (in moderation) is the day you'll stop craving all the foods you're allegedly not supposed to have.
The power is yours.
Sweat & Smiles,